Join us as we open our 31st Village Hotel in Basingstoke, you’ll have everything you need in one location. Basingstoke is bursting with culture and history. If you’re an avid Jane Austen fan, you can marvel in visiting her home or her statue, or if you prefer long walks in the park, Basingstoke has two award-winning parks to choose from. We’ve rounded up our favourite spots in the city for you to choose from and customise your own agenda.
First Stop: Milestone Museum
Step back in time with Basingstoke’s Milestone Museum with a detailed street scene recalling the 19th and mid-20th century of Basingstoke and Hampshire. The cobbled stone streets are laced with Victorian pubs, terraced houses, an ironmonger and a railway station. As you walk along the street, you are accompanied by wonderfully old vehicles featuring an electric tram from Portsmouth. Many of the shops feature actors dressed in period costumes, telling the tales of the past and information about the history of the old street.
Jane Austen’s House
Explore the very house where Jane Austen lived and wrote, the cottage itself retains its 19th-century charms and features an array of Jane Austen artefacts. The house reflects the comfortable family home that the Austen women created while Jane wrote the story of their lives. The museum features interactive exhibits for all to enjoy and you will be able to gaze upon some unpublished manuscripts that Jane had written before she died.
While visiting the house you can bring a picnic and sit in the garden, dogs are welcome but are not allowed inside the museum or visit the souvenir shop and take home a memory from your trip.
The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery
Why not continue your Jane Austen trail and visit the Willis Museum. On the marketplace in the Old Town Hall, you are greeted with a spectacular bronze statue of Jane Austen unveiled in 2017 to mark the 200th year of the author's death, placed in front of The Willis Museum.
The museum was established by George Willis, a local clockmaker, in 1931. If you journey inside, you are greeted with a museum laced with peculiar items such as persevered cake from an old Victorian shop. If you begin to feel a little peckish around lunchtime, there is a café tucked away at the back of the ground floor in the Willis Museum, serving local Hampshire products, homemade cakes, tea and coffee.
After a long day of sightseeing, there are some places in Basingstoke town to help settle your hunger pains. Head to Barton’s converted Mill Pub and feast on some of their most popular dishes from the fish of the day to the pie of the day. You are sure to be full when you leave.
If you prefer something a little more exciting, we recommend the festival street kitchen, this is a must-visit, where you can expect options of burgers, a variety of tex-mex selections and burritos.
More History & Heritage
Basingstoke is home to many historical sites, take a walk down the basing trail through an attractive circular 7-mile walk. If you don’t want to walk the whole 7 miles, there are shorter routes available. However, if you want to visit our favourite sites, we recommend The Vyne and Basing House.
The Vyne is a 16th-century mansion located just north of the town, this spectacular house was enlarged over the years with an early portico in the 17th century and a Palladian extension added in the 18th century.
If you are an avid lover of all things Lord of the Rings, then you have to visit the Vyne, The Ring of Silvianus is a 4th-century Roman ring and is said to be the inspiration behind the elements of J. R. R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Located in the village of Old Basing, is one of Tudor England’s largest and richest palaces, Basing House. This house was constructed for William Paulet, treasurer to Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Elizabeth I. The great barn still shows damage from the great battle that took place on the property but has been restored and features audio-visual presentation and exhibitions about the house.
Venture down to Basingstoke train station and visit the Eastrop park, this beautiful park is one of two parks in Basingstoke that have won Green Flag awards. The park is greeted by the River Loddon which flows through the park filling up the pond. In the summertime, the park has paddling pools for the kids, pedal boats for hire and crazy golf for the whole family to enjoy.
War Memorial Park
Just a quick walk from the Willis museum lies the second of the two Green flag winning parks of Basingstoke. The War Memorial Park includes an aviary, a bandstand and sports facilities. You can download several leaflets from the town's website with information about the park and the tree trail featuring some trees that have been here since the Goldings estate.
After a long day of visiting historical sites, re-immersing yourself into the life of Jane Austen and visiting beautiful nature parks, what better way to recharge and refresh with some gin, and its history. Explore the Bombay Sapphire Distillery and submerge yourself into the history of gin at Laver stoke mill. Finish off your experience with a complimentary drink, don’t worry if you’re driving as drivers can enjoy a complimentary non-alcoholic cocktail and gift pack from the gin shop.
The Anvil Arts
Finish off your trip at The Anvi Arts centre, opened in 1994, the centre is true to its name and looks exactly like a giant anvil. This massive anvil houses 1,400 people and is praised for having some of the best acoustics in Europe. You will be sure to experience some amazing performances with its extravagant calendar filled with dance, opera, classical music, musicals, stand-up comedy, touring bands and artists.
While staying at Village Hotels Basingstoke, why not venture further to Highclaire castle and tour the real Downtown Abbey and its grounds or why not visit Marwell Zoo, for a fun-packed family day out.
Book your stay today at Village Hotels Basingstoke. We have everything you need with a pub, restaurant, Starbucks, a state-of-the-art gym and swimming pool. Not to mention our super comfortable rooms, with flat-screen TVs, and free WIFI throughout the hotel. Our Basingstoke hotel is perfectly placed for your stay.